This is a list of the top Tight End targets for NFL games based on potential production and price. The players are split into three tiers based on likelihood of success. Remember that these rankings take potential production and price into account, so some guys may be higher up on the list despite having a lower projected score for the week if the price point is favorable. Here are some TE options to consider.
Looking for a different position? Check out the rest of the positional targets:
CREAM OF THE CROP
Tyler Eifert ($5300) – Eifert is going to be incredibly high owned Sunday with Gronk playing on Thursday and Kelce playing the early Sunday game. The good thing is that it is a solid spot for him. Eifert is tied for tenth in targets at the position, but he faces the Steelers who have given up the third most fantasy points to the position this year. While Eifert may not have the most targets, he has produced great numbers with the ones he has seen. He is averaging over 4.5 catches per game, 55 yards, and a TD per contest. That’s good enough for over 15 points per and remember that he was blanked in one game too. He has seen multiple games with double digit targets this season, and has averaged 32 points in those games. Cincy may be in a shootout here with a Steelers team expecting to get back Big Ben this week. If so, Eifert will be a big part of what they try to do with their passing game.
Rob Gronkowski ($8000) – Gronk had his career high in catches last week, cracked the 100 yard barrier, scored a touchdown and was still below tournament winning value pace. He was however an excellent cash game option and flex play as one of the highest scoring players at the position. This will be a theme for Gronk this year. He is always a viable cash game option and someone who will get you some points. He has a very safe floor sue to his role in a very high powered offense. The problem with Gronk is his price tag. He is almost $2000 above his peers and while he will have an occasion big game, he needs a monster game to make him a viable GPP threat. Still the safety of locking up 12-25 points with him is almost a certainty and there is value in that. When enough cheap options present themselves, he is someone I like to work into my rosters.
Ladarius Green ($3000) – This one obviously hinges on the availability of Antonio Gates, but it looks like that might not be an issue. At $3000 with no Gates, Green is a staple of cash and tournament rosters this weekend. The price is just too good to overlook for a guy who routinely sees red zone looks and about 6 or more targets a game when Gates is out. He is catching over 4 balls a game, averaging over 50 yards, and has four touchdowns as well. San Diego is an underdog in a high total game here. They have all but given up on the run and Rivers is slinging the ball around about 45 times a game, while reaching 50 in some games where they have trailed. Not only does green have upside, but with a price this low he is safe to use in cash games as well.
Delanie Walker ($4100) – Delanie walker is a solid consistent contributor who is always a guy to consider for your cash games. He has 26 catches on 35 targets during his last four full games played. That’s a high catch to target ratio and an average of almost 7 per game. Walker has not scored a TD since week one, which is why he is a risk for GPPs. The solid catch numbers and yards every game do make him a good cash game play at only $4100 though. He’s scored at least 12.5 points in all but one game so far this year and that is solid reliable consistency from a low priced option at a tough to fill position.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Travis Kelce ($5000) – Kelce is another guy who will not be available on the normal Sunday slate as he plays at 9:30 in the morning this week. He is however still a top option at the tight end position. Despite the rumblings and everyone wishing he saw more targets, he has still managed 5 catches for 70 yards per game. His lack of touchdown production has kept his average scores low, but he has made 34 catches on his 47 targets to date. Kelce is extremely athletic and uber talented. It’s a shame they do not try and target him more. In a good match up against a team that is giving up the 8th most points to TEs, I think he can have one of his bigger games this season and return good value for only $5000.
Eric Ebron ($3100) – Ebron has reached double digit fantasy points in all but one game so far this year. He is averaging over 13 a game, which is more than four points per thousand of cost. Ebron is averaging 4 catches for 53 yards per game and has already scored three touchdowns. Teams pass all over the Chiefs and I expect to see Stafford throwing a lot with the Lions likely to be trailing in this one. Ebron returned from injury last week and saw a ton of snaps, so the opportunity and game flow are both their for him to have another solid performance at only $3100 with his ownership likely remaining low.
Benjamin Watson ($3500) – Let’s get one thing straight here. That 10 catch 127 yard performance is likely the outlier for him. His normal game consists of about 5 targets for 4 catches and a handful of yards. The key to his upside for this game though is the price and match up. Watson plays the Giants who have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to the TE position. The Giants have also been burnt with the pass, which likely means a 40+ attempt game is coming for Brees. Watson has been more involved in the offense in recent weeks and is clearly the #1 TE in New Orleans over Josh Hill. While I think it is foolish to expect another 30 point performance out of him, a 12-15 point one is not only in play, but likely given the circumstances here. At that price, he would be a great start if he does manage to get to 15.
Gary Barnidge ($4700) – Barnidge ended his consecutive games with a touchdown streak at four, but he still pulled down 6 catches for over 100 yards on Sunday. He now has five straight games with 19 or more fantasy points and has compiled 29 catches for 459 yards and 5 touchdowns during this run. He has a tough match up here against Arizona who has given up the least fantasy points to the TE position this year. That is a strange thing to see as they were targeted heavily by teams with good or even decent TEs in 2014. Barnidge is not a safe cash play this week, despite his recent success. Still he is worth a look in GPPs as the primary red zone target and a guy who is getting a lot of looks in an offense that should be trailing and throwing late in this game.
REST OF THE FIELD
Crockett Gillmore ($2500) – Gillmore is minimum priced and a solid piece of the Ravens passing game when healthy. He had another double digit fantasy score last week with 5 catches for over 50 yards. It might not seem like a huge game, but he did it against the Arizona Cardinals who have allowed the least number of fantasy points to the tight end position so far this year. In fact Crockett’s output is over half of what they have given up in terms of fantasy points, so it was a monster game when you factor in the opponent. Crockett is back to full health and should continue to be a part of this offense going forward. At minimum salary, he really only needs 10 points to be relevant and I think he can get that easily here while having upside at a really cheap price.
Richard Rodgers ($3000) – there a bunch of guys I want to play instead of Rodgers, but he still merits attention in this one. He is Aaron Rodgers TE against a great team that will be blitzing him all game long. TEs become good hot read targets for a QB when a defense brings pressure and that could mean an increased number of targets for Rodgers here. He also has an outsized chance of scoring a TD with the large percentage of his targets this year already coming in the red zone. It’s not a safe play by any means, but the upside at $3K is worth a look as a low owned tournament option for Sunday.
Martellus Bennett ($4900) – Bennett is a better option than guys like Witten and Cameron are today, but he’s not a stud. His ownership will be high on Sunday with Kelce at the same price already out of the pool. Bennett has seen a ton of targets so far in this season, but he played a lot of those games without Alshon Jefferey. Jefferey is going to vulture both targets and red zone looks from Bennett and therefore we should see his stats start to drop a little. Bennett was one of the leaders last season in most TE offensive categories. While he has the pedigree to do well, this game is not one that looks like a big opportunity for him. Minnesota likes to keep the ball on the ground and chew clock, which is not good for the # of plays run and overall upside on either side of the ball. Bennett will have a high ownership to go along with an elevated price tag. Others with equal projections are a thousand dollars or more cheaper and while Bennett has some merit, the price is what holds me up from using him more.